Business Briefs

FROM THE OCTOBER ISSUE: Lee Enterprises Consulting welcomes four new staff members, and USGC names new director in Mexico.
By Ethanol Producer Magazine | September 16, 2019

Lee Enterprises Consulting adds staff
Lee Enterprises Consulting, a bio-economy consulting group, has added Chris Burk, Daren Daugaard, David Whittle and Tad Dritz to its team of more than 100 subject matter bio-economy experts.

Burk is a licensed professional engineer and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from Cornell University. He specializes in techno-economic modeling and analysis. He works with companies that are developing or investing in new chemical and bioprocess technologies, helping them use techno-economic modeling to better understand their economics at a commercial scale.

Daugaard has more than 20 years of experience in the thermochemical conversion of biomass starting with his doctorate in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University. He is a licensed professional engineer and holds 12 U.S. patents. He has worked with a variety of agricultural, forestry and waste-stream feedstocks in lab, pilot, demo and commercial-scale pyrolysis, gasification and torrefaction systems.

Based out of the United Kingdom, Whittle has a degree in chemical engineering and a Masters in renewable energy systems engineering. He has been involved in the global energy sector for much of his 36-year career, having worked at Texaco and Mobil, as well as through management consulting at Price Waterhouse and Arthur D. Little. Whittle has been in private consulting for many years, advising about advanced biofuels and bio-oil conversion, including recent engagements evaluating refinery coprocessing of bio-oils for two large clients. Whittle will be coordinating and leading many of LEC’s projects overseas.

Dritz is a licensed professional engineer in Texas, holds master’s degrees in natural resources and environment from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Ohio University. He specializes in new technology development and deployment of biofuels and biobased processes. His areas of expertise include syngas generation from biomass and refused-derived fuel, biojet via Fischer-Tropsch and competing routes, soy biodiesel, pyrolysis, anaerobic digestion, and soy and algae bioplastics.

Stephan Wittig named USGC director in Mexico
The U.S. Grains Council has named Stephan Wittig as its new director in Mexico.

Wittig will be responsible for identifying and addressing trade, technical and policy-related factors that impact the market for U.S. grains and coproducts in Mexico. Wittig replaces Ryan LeGrand, who was promoted in June to USGC president and CEO.

Before assuming the director role, Wittig served as an ethanol consultant with USGC, supporting ongoing ethanol programs run by the Mexico office.

“Stephan has worked tirelessly as a major contributor to the council’s success in educating the Mexican government and relevant stakeholders about the value of E10 and the resulting environmental and economical benefits it offers,” LeGrand said. “Thanks to his efforts and those of the team we assembled in Mexico, we now have a potential 720 million-gallon market that did not exist before 2016.”

Wittig previously worked as a chief strategy officer for Grupo Baltico, Mexico’s largest ethanol producer and distributor, which offered the first E100 retail stations in the country.
Wittig has a strong financial background with an educational specialization in distillation processes, focused on the development of alcoholic beverages.

“His can-do attitude and relentless approach are just two of the many attributes that make him well-suited to fill the role of Mexico director,” LeGrand said. “I am positive the council’s programming will stay on a successful path under his leadership.”